21 October 2015
2 min read
It doesn’t look like an ordinary all-in-one, and it definitely doesn’t work like one. Sure, the sprout by HP is a powerful all-in-one Windows 8.1 PC, yet it’s also so much more. HP’s new baby is a radical reinterpretation of the desktop PC, and its potential for classroom use is instantly recognisable.
The sprout by HP differs from ordinary all-in-ones in its incorporation of the HP Illuminator, an Adonit Jot Pro stylus and an innovative touch-enabled mat. The Iluminator combines a DLP projector with a 14.6-megapixel camera and an Intel RealSense 3D camera. This enables the illuminator to both project a second, Full HD display onto the touch mat, and capture or scan 2D images or 3D objects placed on the touch mat.
Here’s where the magic happens.
Using HP’s innovative Workspace software, you can grab 2D objects from a digital object library and drag them onto the touch mat displayYou can twist them, make them bigger, or alter and adjust them in a range of different ways. You can pull out the stylus and draw a new object, then rotate it and resize it with your fingers. You can combine your drawn object with existing digital objects in designs, collages, presentations or animations.
You can then drag a real 2D object – a mask, a photo, a flower, a model butterfly – onto the touch mat, scan it, then remove the object and pull a perfect 2D facsimile into your composition. In fact, thanks to the RealSense 3D camera, you can do the same with 3D objects and compositions. You can take the best of the real world and the best of virtual worlds, and assemble them in any way you want. The sprout by HP even has built-in tools to remove objects cleanly from backgrounds when you scan an image or photo.
It’s an incredible creative tool, perfect for education.
Working with the sprout by HP is simple, intuitive and – most of all – fun.
It’s an engaging way to work, with clear applications in maths, literacy, history, geography, art, design and science. Imagine projects where real-world objects mix with digital text, digital photos and animation. Leaves, flowers or seashells are scanned in an instant. Old coins, toys and photos work seamlessly with material pulled from the internet. Pupils can put their hands directly in their handiwork. This is kinaesthetic learning taken to the next level; it feels as easy and hands-on as doodling with a pencil.
It’s also collaborative. The sprout by HP has real-time teamwork tools that enable, for example, the class to watch the teacher using a front-facing HD camera, while also seeing and interacting with what’s going on in a feed from the touch mat. Students can step up and add their own new elements, while the class makes suggestions and the teacher advises.
To see the sprout by HP in action is to see the start of something exciting. A growing library of Windows 8.1 apps already supports it, including animation apps, games, 3D modelling and character design, and a virtual piano. The Crayola Color app enables younger children to draw and paint on the touch mat with their fingers. And this library is only growing, with considerable interest from developers, designers, artists and schools. People are responding to the sprout by HP’s imaginative potential.